Opportunity Cost: The Olympics

Time is money, so they say. How much did the Olympics cost you, Julie?

Time spent watching the Olympics (prostrate on the couch with snacks, at bars, during friends’ housewarming parties, etc.): 21 hours

Time spent swimming laps at the natatorium by my house because watching Missy Franklin win the backstroke got me all riled up and nostalgic for a bygone athletic ability I never truly had to begin with: 2 hours

Time spent wandering around the city looking for goggles and a swim cap: 1.5 hours

Total: 24.5 hours

What I could have made working minimum wage ($8.25/hour in Illinois) for the same amount of time: $202.13, plus $30 for the goggles and swim cap, plus $40 for the three-month lap swim membership I bought after successfully sneaking in to swim without paying once, and then feeling bad for not supporting the park district, so really $272.13

What I could have bought with that money:

• 7 new one-piece swimsuits to replace the sad droopy one that dates from when I swam for my high school in 10th grade with the broken elastic that I have been wearing over a bikini in a weak approximation of appropriate training attire.

• 54 boxes of frozen fruit bars because it may only be 70 degrees but it’s still technically summer.

• 54 Olympic bronze medals (whaddayaknow, they’re worth as much as the fruit bars.)

• The utility bills for the past two months.


Previously: Season 2 of The Voice

Have an opportunity cost to tell us? Send us an email.

Julie Beck’s personal best 100 backstroke time was 36 seconds slower than Missy Franklin’s gold medal race. Photo: geetarchurchy



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